Five reasons to use Twitter lists

Posted by on Sep 17, 2010 in Twitter | No Comments
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Recently I’ve sorted all my Twitter followers into lists. It’s something I’ve always kind of done – and I love checking out other people’s lists (especially if they’ve been kind enough to put me on them!) – but I really needed to sit down and do it properly. It took a while, but it was worth it for lots of reasons. Here are five benefits of the Twitter list facility:
1 It’s a great place to start
So you’ve set up your Twitter account, you’ve tweeted a few pithy comments – but who’s going to hear you? Other Twitter users’ lists are a fantastic way to find groups of tweeters who share your interests or may be useful to you. You can either follow the list or you can go through the individuals on it and decide whether to follow them directly. Here are some of my favourite starter lists :
@theintelligiser/scotlandbusiness
@heatheralex/swib
@lizzie_taylor/fab-tweeps
2 It’s a great way to get organised
When you’ve spent a bit of time on Twitter and built up your followers, you’ll find that you’ll start missing stuff. Very few people can afford to watch the timeline move in real time – so if you’re only checking in a few times a day you’re only going to get a snapshot of the conversations. Listing people according to subject or area means you’re less likely to miss the information you value most.
3 It encourages you to engage and network
By sorting your followers into categories you’re much more likely to spot patterns and trends. You’re likely to become more knowledgeable in that area, add to conversations and be able to introduce like-minded people. As with any networking, becoming an enabler is very valuable – introducing two (or more) people who can be helpful for each other means they both owe you one.

4 It promotes goodwill
Whether users admit it or not, Twitter is a numbers game. Everyone on Twitter wants more followers and more people to list them – it’s an indicator of importance and influence. If you haven’t had a chance to chat to someone, asking them where you should list them is a great opener (“do you specialise more in marketing or PR?”). People generally notice when someone new lists them and check out the lister. They may even find new useful contacts on your list. It’s all part of joining the Twitter community.
5 It’s great market research
If you’d like to see a business benefit from using Twitter, sort your followers into market groups. Just make sure you check the ‘private’ option on the list otherwise you’re sharing that with the competition! You can sort your most loyal followers – the ones who reply, retweet and generally promote you or your business – into a brand champions list and maybe even reward them. You can also complement any databases or market research you’re doing elsewhere. If everyone on the list follows you back you can send them private messages, offering a highly targeted route to market.

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